Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the things that have kept many people safe and physically healthy are the very things that have led others to mental and emotional turmoil. While the world has been making great strides in addressing the physical health impact of COVID, many people need mental health support for the first time in their lives, with little to no idea of where to turn. The downside to the public health actions, such as social distancing, has led to a drastic rise in various mental health issues, including stress, anxiety, and depression. The positive to come out of this is many of these people are reaching out for help. And it is not just individuals seeking help, but couples who are now struggling more and more to resolve interpersonal conflicts.
There is now increased awareness and demand for mental health services, which has thankfully led to an increase in accessibility of therapy – namely, teletherapy. At least, the accessibility of trained mental health professionals is the goal. Still, according to couples therapist and co-founder of The Couples Institute, Dr. Ellyn Bader, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find well-trained therapists, despite the growing need for couples therapy.
What are the merits and benefits of online couples counselling?
When it comes to online couples and marriage counselling, you and your clients will share similar benefits.
Online therapy is flexible
Thanks to online couples counselling, more and more couples can prioritize their relationship and mental health. In terms of traditional talk therapy, it can already be challenging for one client to pick a time slot that works for them and plan their day around that time, let alone two people. Online therapy enables couples to save the time they would spend driving to and from their appointment and waiting in the waiting area, which opens up more time windows.
Online therapy is accessible
For some couples, their only option is online couples or marriage counselling, whether they are physically separated by intention or circumstance, which is highly probable due to the pandemic. Some couples cannot leave home due to health restrictions or other family situations; other couples live in areas with no trained therapists or resources. Online couples counselling makes support more accessible for all couples – the critical help you can provide them.
Online therapy is effective
Online therapy is not only convenient for some clients, but it can be just as effective as traditional in-office counselling sessions, and in some cases, it can be even better. As you might expect, online couples counselling’s success can largely be attributed to the benefits mentioned above because they lead to consistency.
What are the challenges of online couples counseling?
You may experience a few common drawbacks with online couples and marriage counseling. One such pitfall could be the potential for you to not pick up on body language as well. Likely, you will only see client’s faces, which could result in missing a nonverbal cue.
Another drawback is that as a therapist, you will not be in a quiet office. Therefore, you will not have control over unexpected disturbances, such as a house phone or doorbell ringing on your clients’ end. This could make things more distracting for you and everyone involved, but if these instances were to happen, they are not likely to take away much time or attention from a session.
Why sign up for training for online couples counseling?
Often couples will not pursue therapy until their issues have escalated and their situation is urgent and complex. But now, once they realize they need it, you can be there for them because online couples and marriage counselling will be there for them – affordable, accessible, and effective.
As mental health professionals at MAGentix, just like you, we recognize that pandemic or no pandemic, the need for couples counselling will always be there. And we are also predicting nothing but upward growth in teletherapy.
Our upcoming workshop on March 26th, led by Nancy St. John, MIACP, will provide a wealth of tips and tricks for experienced and less experienced therapists working with couples online and the benefits of being an online couples therapist.
What to expect from this workshop
Our virtual workshop, “What Happens if…Creativity and Safety for Online Couples Counseling”, is a 3.5-hour workshop led by Nancy St. John, MIACP. St. John is a therapist who has worked exclusively with couples online over the last five years. In 2013, Nancy began her training and teaching alongside Dr. Bader when she was selected to be a part of a team to teach the Developmental Model of Couples Therapy as a part of Dr. Bader’s training course. Nancy St. John is trained in various couples therapy models, and her objectives for the course include everything from techniques, effective ways to structure sessions, and ways to manage screen fatigue and technical glitches.
After this workshop, you will walk away with enhanced skills as a counselor to start or further develop your online therapy practice. The information and skills you acquire are not exclusive to couples but transferable to working with individuals or families. As the world continues to shift and change, it is imperative as a mental health professional to continually adapt and evolve along with it. As it stands, the need for more online couple’s therapists is great, but so are your opportunities to make a difference for your clients and be the hero they need.
Join our Online Seminar with Nancy St John, MIACP
What Happens If: Creativity and Safety for Online Couples Counselling
March 26, 2021
9:00am – 12:30pm DST